UN envoy: Syrian peace talks will not resume next week

BEIRUT -- The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that peace talks won't resume in Geneva on Feb.

See Full Article

25 as he had previously hoped, as Turkey intensified cross border shelling Friday on areas dominated by Syria's main predominantly Kurdish militia.

De Mistura told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that he cannot "realistically" get the parties in the Syrian conflict back to the table by then, "but we intend to do so soon."

De Mistura halted the latest talks on Feb. 3, because of major differences between the two sides, exacerbated by increased aerial bombings and a wide military offensive by Syrian troops and their allies under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

In an interview published late Thursday on Svenska Dagbladet's website, de Mistura said, "We need real talks about peace, not just talks about talks. Now the Americans and Russians must sit down and agree on a concrete plan on the cessation of hostilities."

In recent weeks, Syrian government forces captured dozens of villages and towns in different parts of Syria while the predominantly Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces evicted opposition fighters and militants from areas near the border with Turkey in Aleppo province. Ankara strongly opposes the SDF, which is predominantly composed of Kurdish fighters and has become one of the most effective forces on the ground fighting the Islamic State group.

A rebel commander in the northwestern province of Idlib said Turkey was facilitating the movement of other rebel factions specifically in order to weaken the SDF. The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal military secrets, said a mixed coalition of rebel fighters were permitted to pass into Turkey and enter Syria again in order to prevent the city of Azzaz from falling into SDF hands.

Azzaz is currently held by Turkish-backed rebel factions and is surrounded by both SDF forces and Islamic State group fighters.

SDF gains in the area south of Azzaz triggered several days of Turkish shelling, mainly targeting areas recently captured by the group. On Thursday night Turkish troops intensified the shelling with ongoing barrages that lasted until early Friday.

An SDF official said Turkish troops are bombing their positions in border areas, inflicting casualties among civilians. Ahmad al-Omar said the shelling hit several areas including the town of Jandairis on Friday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shelling on areas on northern Syria lasted seven hours killing two and wounding others.

The SDF is dominated by the main Kurdish militia known as YPG. Turkey blames both the YPG and its own domestic Kurdish rebels for Wednesday's bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 people.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported late on Thursday that artillery shells had "intermittently" targeted militia positions near Azaz.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Regina landlord frustrated about lack of refugees in neighbourhood

    Canada News CTV News
    A Regina landlord is frustrated that refugees seem to be avoiding a neighbourhood he says he has enough trouble getting locals to consider. Jason Hall has 95 houses in the North Central part of Saskatchewan’s capital. Source
  • Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access

    World News CTV News
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers are considering a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender children in public schools, despite a backlash that North Carolina faced over a broader law limiting bathroom use in all public buildings. Source
  • Bull on loose in NYC leads cops on wild chase [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A cow that apparently escaped from a slaughterhouse has led police on a wild chase through New York City streets. Police corralled the animal in a backyard in Jamaica, Queens, after a chase that lasted more than an hour. Source
  • No evidence shots fired at Houston hospital: Reports

    World News Toronto Sun
    HOUSTON — The police chief in Houston says no one has been found injured and there’s no evidence of a shooting amid reports that shots were fired inside the hospital at the Texas Medical Center. Chief Art Acevedo says his officers were making a second search of Ben Taub Hospital, one of the city’s major trauma centres. Source
  • Vandal who smashed Trump star to pay damages, serve probation

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A man who destroyed Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been sentenced to three years of probation for vandalism. An attorney for James Otis says he pleaded no contest to the felony Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Source
  • South Sudan promises 'unimpeded' aid access amid famine

    World News CTV News
    WATAMU, Kenya - South Sudan's president said Tuesday his government will ensure "unimpeded access" for all aid organizations, a day after famine was declared for more than 100,000 people in the country suffering from years of civil war. Source
  • Milo Yiannopoulos resigns as editor of Breitbart Tech

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos resigned as an editor at Breitbart News on Tuesday and apologized for comments he had made about sexual relationships between boys and men. Yiannopoulos, speaking to reporters, said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was between the ages of 13 and 16. Source
  • Dog helps save N.S. man, boys in collapsed snow fort

    Canada News CTV News
    LAWRENCETOWN, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man is praising the efforts of the family dog for helping save him and two young boys who were buried under a heavy mountain of snow after their fort collapsed on top of them. Source
  • Ukraine backs more sanctions against Russia in passport spat

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW - Ukraine's president called Tuesday for new sanctions against Russia over its decision to recognize passports issued by separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine, while the Kremlin accused Ukraine of denying vital documents to people in the rebel regions. Source
  • Man credits family pet for saving him, boys after snow fort collapse

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LAWRENCETOWN, N.S. — A Nova Scotia man is praising the efforts of the family dog for helping save him and two young boys who were buried under a heavy mountain of snow after their fort collapsed on top of them. Source